North Carolina

The current state poet laureate of North Carolina is Shelby Stephenson, who was appointed in 2015. Stephenson is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl (Bellday Books, 2008). He has received a North Carolina Award for Literature and was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2015. Stephenson served as professor of English at UNC-Pembroke from 1978 to 2010 and currently runs writing workships in assisted living communities.

recent & featured listings

typesort descending name state
Literary Organization Winston-Salem Writers North Carolina
Literary Organization Anson County Writers' Club North Carolina
Literary Organization Carolina African American Writers Collective North Carolina
Literary Organization North Carolina Arts Council North Carolina
Literary Organization North Carolina Haiku Society North Carolina
Literary Organization The North Carolina Poetry Society North Carolina
Literary Organization The North Carolina Writers' Network North Carolina
Literary Organization Poetry Alive! North Carolina
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Bull’s Head Bookshop North Carolina
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore City Lights Bookstore North Carolina

poems

poem

Fuss, fight, and cutting the huckley-buck—Dear Malindy, 
Underground, must I always return to the country of the dead,

To the coons catting about in the trees, the North Carolina pines 
Chattering about sweetening bodies in their green whirring?

Do these letters predict my
poem
In the moon-fade and the sun’s puppy breath,
  in the crow’s plummeting cry,
in my broken foot and arthritic joints,
                                       memory calls me
to the earth’s opening, the graves dug, again, and again 
I, always I am left
                   to turn away
into a bat’s wing-brush of air
poem

 

          for Carl & Lillian Sandburg’s Connemara, Flat Rock, NC

 

As a child I was taken
to visit Connemara
as I remember
a little display of concrete poems
in the shapes of shoes
next to a typewriter
on an orange crate
let me know
I was